Depending on the region you live in, tooth decay can go by different names such as cavities or carries, but the source is always the same: bacteria. Our mouths are home to countless types of bacteria, which makes tooth decay the second most frequent disease for Americans behind the common cold.
Studies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have estimated that over 90% of adults will have to deal with tooth decay at some point in their lives. This is an incredible statistic because tooth decay is preventable, and you can keep your teeth cavity-free with a few simple steps!
Bacteria and Our Mouths
There are good and bad bacteria throughout our bodies, including our mouths. Some bacteria are more acidic, which can contribute to tooth decay. Because bacteria can affect everyone’s teeth a little differently, routine dental exams are necessary to monitor the development of dental cavities.
A checkup once every six months is recommended for optimized oral health. During these routine checkups, you will also receive professional cleanings that also remove harmful bacteria buildup that is beneficial in the prevention of cavities.
Other Factors of Tooth Decay
While bacteria is a big culprit of tooth decay, there are other causes that you should be aware of:
- Bacteria: Bacteria naturally live in our mouths, but proper dental hygiene is necessary to keep a healthy balance and reduce the acidic byproduct that certain bacteria create.
- Sugar: Sweet treats can kickstart the enamel damaging process in as little as 15 minutes after eating!
- Plaque: This colorless film on your teeth lets bacteria thrive and will eventually harden into tartar, putting both your gums and enamel at risk.
- Parafunction: This is the term used for any harmful habits performed with the teeth. Among the most common is tooth grinding, which can erode tooth enamel.
Keeping these factors in mind can help you be mindful of how you’re treating your teeth. Be careful with what you do with your teeth, and you can avoid tooth decay a lot of the time.
Preventing Tooth Decay
When it comes to dental health, prevention is often the greatest solution and that means being vigilant in our day-to-day life. You need to be dedicated to a dental hygiene routine: brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, preferably with fluoride toothpaste since the mineral strengthens tooth enamel.
You also need an understanding of other risk factors such as diet. Highly acidic foods, sugary drinks, or certain behaviors like smoking can increase the chances of developing tooth decay.
Know the Risks and Solutions!
As mentioned above, everyone’s oral health is unique, but if your family has a history of dental health problems that include tooth decay, discussing it with your dentist could be helpful. This is where general dentistry services shine; their basic purpose is to prevent and treat tooth decay.
General dentistry treatments like cleanings and exams evaluate the risks unique to your teeth. For example, suppose you suffer from Malocclusion (the clinical term for crooked teeth or a misaligned bite). In that case, it isn’t just a cosmetic issue: it makes bacteria buildup more likely, increasing your chances of tooth decay.
A visit to your dentist can catch such problems early and you can receive recommendations for corrective measures. Corrections for tooth decay include the following:
- Root Canals.
The treatment you get will depend on the severity of your tooth decay case.
Avoid Cavities by Calling Us Today!
Residents of Seattle know that there’s only one passionate dental team they can trust with their dental health. Magnolia Dental Care is here for you! Discover what truly personalized dental care can do for you when you contact our office today!